A toast to centuries of tradition, increasing visitor numbers by
The Monastic Way is an immersive visitor experience celebrating 1000 years of Buckfast Abbey and telling the story of 1500 years of Benedictine monks and nuns history.
The Abbey, in Devon’s Dartmoor National Park, is the UK’s only medieval monastery to have been restored and used for its original purpose following its destruction during the reformation of Henry VIII’s reign.
The Monastic Way is designed to take visitors on a journey away from everyday routine and begin to understand and empathise with the Benedictine monks and nun’s way of life. MET has designed an organic, thought provoking and interactive experience for all ages. It features large multi-screen digital films, 3d models that come to life, touchscreens and ‘lean-in’ pods for a more personalised experience. And there are specially created areas throughout to sit and ponder quietly.
Peter Karn, Creative Director at Met Studio said: “One of our greatest challenges has been to represent the unfamiliar story of Benedictine history and the Abbey, whilst at the same time asking questions of the visitor. The elements that encourage reflection and contemplation help people to empathise with the Benedictine monks and whilst the experience is designed to lift the lid on their way of life, it’s not about preaching or pushing hard with facts and figures.”
Benedictine monks and nuns follow the Rule of St. Benedict summed up as a life dedicated to prayer and work with values of charity, serving community, respect and listening. “Working with the Abbot and his team at Buckfast Abbey has been a deeply collaborative, lengthy and enjoyable experience. The unique subject matter led to many philosophical discussions to understand the culture and emotional heart of the project; what is faith, what is prayer and so on. As exhibition designers and having been taken slightly out of our comfort zone, we needed to approach this in a very different way,” commented Karn.